The founder of private members club wants to make space for India's emerging elite

The founder of private members club wants to make space for India's emerging elite
Authored by: Vivek Narain, Founder, The Quorum

The Quorum was born out of the belief that when the right people get together, great things are bound to happen. This new age, contemporary urban lifestyle club was inspired by the renaissance that has taken place in the club world, across major cities around the globe. My wife Sonya and I co-founded The Quorum to be at the intersection of Community, Culture, Collaboration and Creativity. In the early days, I was often told that these 4C’s don’t always intersect in the ordinary course, but we remained undeterred, as we were embarking on a venture that was anything but ordinary; creating a Third Dimension in the Indian hospitality market.

Despite being born and brought up in Delhi, that can be fairly clique-ish in its social construct, I have been fortunate enough to consistently meet new and interesting people, but never in the same room. This led me to believe that there are multiple tribes of like-minded folks that don’t have a platform to organically collide and come together on. More often than not, our social lives get restricted to the silos of our work, family and the micro-communities that get formed around where we live, and where our kids go to school. We wanted to change that with The Q, with the Community at the very core of our philosophy, which has over time become what defines us. Even our name, Quorum, is a legal term that means ’the minimum amount of people that are required to make a decision’.

Our Quorum was created as a space to coalesce a diverse and interesting cohort of the curious. Our members make meaningful connections with each other around shared ideas and interests, which is assisted through our programming. An important part of our membership criteria is diversity and we strongly feel that age, gender and backgrounds are not a restrictive factor. While private members’ clubs already exist in India, their member
base was curated generations ago and are arguably less relevant to the new India that we know today. Membership for the establishment clubs is more about keeping folks out rather than bringing them in.

At The Quorum, we’re less interested in what you have, who you know, or what you do, and instead, are far more intrigued by your personality, interests, passions and stories. There are some interesting parallels with the social change that occurred within the United States in the 1960’s, where people were on the move, just as they are in India today. Our cities today are more transient than they have ever been, as people relocate for work and economic opportunities. As a result, the need for having a place of belonging is more important today than ever before.

The founder of private members club wants to make space for India's emerging elite

Of course, you can’t feel a sense of belonging unless you identify with the culture of a place which, for us, is defined by our curated programming. Culture is the heart of the events calendar at The Quorum; and we’ve contributed to shaping culture in the NCR by playing host to over 400 events at our club in Gurgaon. Our monthly programming calendar is a labour of love which pieces together unparalleled thought leadership and events across the spectrum of art, fashion, music, literature, tech, business, current affairs and much more.

Traditionally, studios and workshops were where culture was ‘produced’, and galleries, parks or theatres were where it was ‘consumed’ – we are closing that gap with what we do at our space. You can spend your day working out of our workspaces, The Business Quarter, take a break for lunch at our restaurant - Coalesce, and then head over to the Members’ Lounge for high tea, before joining our sommelier for a wine tasting followed by a night of dancing with a jazz band; this is only one example of all that we have in store for our members on a typical day at the club.

We collaborate on the content mentioned above and have fostered an ecosystem of partnerships with brands that share our sensibility and ethos. As our community grows across multiple locations, with what we believe is the most discerning, global, sophisticated, and aspirational audience across the country, The Quorum collective has the potential to become a powerful network and a platform for the advocacy of brands and ideas. Another important aspect of Collaboration is how the physical attributes of our space effortlessly brings people together and is designed to seamlessly morph from work to play. In fact, our mascot, whose name is Jango, is a chameleon and reflects the transformative nature of The Quorum.

This is increasingly relevant today, given the impending structural change in the way people will work in a post-pandemic world. If there is one trend that seems to be playing out prominently is that both companies and their employees are looking for flexibility. Employees are looking for a more wholesome experience where they can bring their lifestyle back into their work style & companies on the other hand are looking for collaborative spaces where their teams, that might be working remotely, can come together and ideate in creative spaces.

Furthermore, as the world starts to travel again, people will look for more authentic experiences that allow them to integrate into the community and culture of whichever city they choose to explore. We’ve created reciprocal partnerships with 50 of the most sought after private members’ clubs around the world, including The Battery in San-Francisco, Saint James in Paris, 1880 in Singapore, The Groucho in London, and many more. And while the
travel & hospitality industry has suffered the most this past year, all signs point towards a revival akin to the “Roaring Twenties”. However, safety will continue to be a priority for some time to come, and private members’ clubs with their unique social contract with their patrons, provides a more predictable option in these unpredictable times.

Creative inspiration is all around us at The Q; whether it’s the design of the space or the art that adorns our walls, we’re almost maniacal about making sure that everything our guests experience is an assault on all 5 senses. While we live in a country with tons of creative inspiration, spaces that inspire remain in short supply. We partnered with Studio Lotus in designing The Quorum Gurgaon, to bring The Q Factor into each element of our spaces. We created a jungle with our wallpaper, brought in artwork that makes you feel as though you’re living in an art gallery, and created spaces that feel like a home away from home. The devil is in the details and as we look to launch The Quorum in Mumbai, we’re delighted to be going through the madness all over again.

DISCLAIMER: The Quorum was Business Insider India's partner for the Global Trends Festival 2020

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